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Educational Homogamy: Preferences or Opportunities?


  • Helena Skyt Nielsen

    (Department of Economics, University of Aarhus)

  • Michael Svarer

    (Department of Economics, University of Aarhus)


Individuals match on length and type of education. We investigate whether the systematic relationship between educations of partners is explained by opportunities (e.g. low search frictions) or preferences (e.g. complementarities in household production or portfolio optimization). We find that half of the systematic sorting on education is due to low search frictions in marriage markets of the educational institutions. The other half is attributed to complementarities in household production, since income properties of the joint income process show no influence on partner selection.

Suggested Citation

  • Helena Skyt Nielsen & Michael Svarer, 2006. "Educational Homogamy: Preferences or Opportunities?," CAM Working Papers 2006-12, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieca:2006_12

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    Cited by:

    1. Mette Deding & Trine Filges, 2010. "Geographical Mobility Of Danish Dual-Earner Couples-The Relationship Between Change Of Job And Change Of Residence," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 615-634.
    2. Brynin, Malcolm & Longhi, Simonetta & Martínez Pérez, à lvaro, 2008. "The social significance of homogamy," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-32, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Raaum Oddbjørn & Bratsberg Bernt & Røed Knut & Österbacka Eva & Eriksson Tor & Jäntti Markus & Naylor Robin A, 2008. "Marital Sorting, Household Labor Supply, and Intergenerational Earnings Mobility across Countries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-49, January.
    4. Kraft, Kornelius & Neimann, Stefanie, 2009. "Impact of Educational and Religious Homogamy on Marital Stability," IZA Discussion Papers 4491, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Nielsen, Helena Skyt & Smith, Nina & Celikaksoy, Aycan, 2007. "The Effect of Marriage on Education of Immigrants: Evidence from a Policy Reform Restricting Spouse Import," IZA Discussion Papers 2899, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    positive assortative matching on education; search frictions; hedging; complementarities in household production;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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